Total Intravenous Anaesthesia (TIVA) has become increasingly popular as a modern anaesthetic technique. As it grew in popularity Clinicians approached AMS with concerns about the suitability of intravenous connector sets available for them when using TIVA. In particular, they were concerned about
- sets that allowed drug mixing 1
- sets that did not include the appropriate one-way valves 2
- and sets made of inappropriate plastics 3
All of these issues represented a compromise for patient safety and at their worst were potentially quite dangerous. AMS convened a small working group of clinical and industry experts tasked with defining the issues outlined above and, just as importantly, finding solutions to them. AMS A-Sets are the fruits of this work. Not surprisingly, the safety issues highlighted by TIVA experts are just as relevant to other clinicians infusing drugs. For example, obstetric units rapidly saw the benefits of A-Sets for their own infusion practice when inducing labour with oxytocin or treating pregnancy related hypertension.
Refinements to the original sets have occurred whenever the opportunity to enhance patient safety has arisen and we believe that A-Sets remain the safest connector system for any pumped drug infusion being administered to a patient.
The reputation of AMS to provide economical solutions to issues of patient safety has grown and more recently a new product range has been developed using the same principles of engaging end-user expertise, high end design knowledge, and industry-leading medical plastics manufacturing. SafeSets add to the portfolio of safety focused products made by AMS.
We confidently believe that no other company has as much input from practising clinicians in the design and development of its product range.
1 The main drug used during TIVA is propofol. Propofol, unlike most other intravenous drugs, is alkaline. It is also relatively insoluble in water and is therefore formulated in a lipid carrier. These are the two main features that lead to incompatibility of propofol with many other drugs. So it was essential that a TIVA set did not allow drug mixing before reaching the natural buffering capacity of the blood.
2 This meant anti-syphon valves on pump lines and low crack pressure valves on gravity lines, differences that clinicians still find confusing.
3 Drugs can be readily absorbed onto the surface of some plastics making the dose actually being given to the patient unpredictable. Other plastics can be damaged by some drugs or their carrier solutions thus adversely affecting the function of the component part. Finally, some plastics can leach potentially toxic additives into solutions being infused through them.